November 28, 2014
I had originally intended to run the Space Coast half marathon. But, even though I knew when registration opened, I wasn’t able to get online at the time. I didn’t figure the race would sell out so quickly. But, it did. So, I thought about it and realized that I would be in the heart of training for Dopey again. When I looked at my Dopey training plan, I needed to do a 23 mile training run on race day anyhow. Might as well get a medal for a training run. And. what’s three more miles? So, here I am.
Aside from the fact that I can get a medal for running a “training run”, the Space Coast races are also conducting the Big Bang Series of races. If you run three of the five years, runners are eligible for the three year challenge medal. If you run all five years, you get the three year and the five year challenge medals. Sadly, I missed the first year so I’ll only be eligible for the three year challenge medal. Still uber awesome though!
I live about two hours from Port Canaveral and the area where the Space Coast marathon will be held. Since this is fairly “local” for me, I can get away with one night of hotel. The flip side of that means I don’t get first dibs at any of the merchandise. Packet pick up actually started earlier in the week but I haven’t been able to get over here because I’ve had to work.
I dropped my pups off at the kennel and made my way to Port Canaveral. It probably took me about an hour and 45 minutes to get to the hotel where the expo is. I found it fairly easily using Waze but when arrived, parking was pretty much a free for all. There were no parking spots available so incoming cars had to loop around and park in a large field next to the hotel. This would’ve been fine…if I drove a 4×4. I drive a midsize sedan and it isn’t equipped with mud tires or four wheel drive.
The field was very wet and muddy in a lot of places. I drove slowly but a couple of times, I felt my wheels kind of spin. I finally made it across the field to some dry grass and parked. I hope I won’t have any issues getting back out of the field.
I followed some other runners into the hotel. We walked through the corridors of rooms and found the conference rooms. There weren’t any signs directing us where to go but there was a hotel employee that was able to point us in the right direction. Once I finally found where I needed to go, I wait in line to pick up my bib. Then, I wait in another line to get my race shirt.
The convention center area is rather small for the number of people trying to move around. I try to walk around a little but getting around isn’t very easy. I want to get to the race merchandise because I want to get one of the Tervis cups.
I find my way over the the official merchandise booth and the only cups that are left are the mugs. This isn’t exactly what I wanted but I know I will use it. So, I wait in line for about 15 minutes to buy a cup. I looked at some of the other merchandise while I was in line, but the jackets and shirts were just too expensive. I know that I wouldn’t wear any of the clothes very much so I opt not to spend the money on them.
I tried to walk around the expo some to check out some of the other vendors. But, it was just so crowded that I was getting annoyed. So, I took my picture with the space man and then left.
I selected one of the “host” hotels for tonight because there will be bus service to and from the race tomorrow. I don’t know my way around so it will keep me from having to drive.
I’ll just relax for the day and grab an early bite to eat so I can get some rest. Luckily, there are plenty of places within a 10 to 15 minute drive so I won’t have to go far. I’m looking forward to running my first marathon by itself. Every other time I’ve done a marathon, I’ve done a half marathon the day before (Goofy one time and Dopey). Nervous but excited; party of one!